Godzilla: Kaiju Dai Kessen

Super NES

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 9

Gameplay: 7

Overall: 8

With the newly revived franchise in full swing, Godzilla hit a great stride in the 90's. Though his first SNES appearance was lackluster (to be kind), his second, Japanese only sequel picks things up in grand Toho style. Somewhat of an update to the Turbo Duo game "Godzilla," this is one for the fans, though die-hard fighting fans should stay as far away as possible.

Eight monsters from the Toho universe are immediately selectable. Two variations on the Heisei series Mechagodzilla are available via codes. Two attack buttons will get the most work, a grab button is really tough to get the hang of, and a dash can get you out of trickier spots. Special attacks are done via the usual fighting games means.

Almost all of the monsters have projectile attacks (Angilas does not which stays true to source material) so expect plenty of firepower to fly across the screen in each brawl. A meter underneath the standard life bar lets players know how close they are to being knocked down. This is crucial since you can be pounded when on the ground. Staying on your feet is a necessity.

There's a key flaw that can kill just about any fighting games and that's balance. This game has very little. In addition to the standard array of weapons, a small icon in the lower screen can fill up allowing for a devastating all-out blast. These moves can remove over half a life bar. Some are even unavoidable (Mechagodzilla and Ghidrah are the main culprits). It's not particularly fair and it can end a great fight in seconds.

Though main attacks are limited, it's far more than offered by the Duo version referenced above. Removing the jump button (thankfully) adds in extra attacks. Grappling is used infrequently and can be difficult to pull off. If these attacks are launched, be prepared for another beating. They are extremely difficult to get out of. This adds some tension to the melees as both kaiju take every step to avoid getting too close.

Combos are basically non-existent, save for a few juggles during corner traps. It's a very basic engine, but it really has to be. Giant monsters are not exactly the most athletic bunch so massive combo attacks and flying hurricane kicks really don't fit in. Toho fans will understand; fighting game fans will not. Fans likely won't appreciate the rather awkward difficulty, which makes it all but impossible on anything over the easiest setting.

Details has been added and removed from this graphics engine taken from the less capable Duo. Godzilla no longer changes form to match the film the battles took place in. The backgrounds are a little bit weaker, though some damage can now be done to surrounding buildings. Fans will easily recognize a few of the locales. The kaiju themselves look spectacular, especially Biollante who's sprite is absolutely intimidating.

Missing from the Duo was actual Akira Ifukube music, something so important to this long running series. It's here, though used infrequently. The title screen sets the mood and when battling Mothra, be prepared to hear a fantastic remix of the Mothra theme. The rest of tracks are a mix of new and old. The best original piece is during the final Mechagodzilla challenge, a really fast paced theme that gets players ready and keeps them going for the entire match. Finally, you can check off each monsters roar. They sound great on the hardware.

This really is just the same game remixed for a new console. The added monsters are great, the fighting engine is serviceable if not unique in any way, and the graphics along with audio make it a complete Godzilla experience. There's not much more you could possibly ask for unless you're not a G-Fan.


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Last updated: Friday, February 25, 2005 06:47 AM